Dear Wigleaf,

I am writing to you from the box office of the theater company I belong to. It is opening night of the first show of our 10th Season. Everyone's level of stress is running high because everyone wants everything to go right. Not perfectly, just right, which really means the same thing. 

I am writing from a relatively safe place (I won't be watching the show), as all I have to do is make sure everyone on the list has shown up so we can start on time (we won't) and peddle concessions; later, during Act Two, I'll set up the after-party chow and booze in the lobby. The people coming to see this show tonight could be divided into two basic groups: Friends and Enemies. The Enemies are the critics and the Jeff judges (the latter are representatives of the Joseph Jefferson Awards, the Chicago equivalent of the Tonys). They're not our enemies, really, it's just fun to call them that, but we do want their approval, their good words, their recommendations. When we get them, they are our Friends; we don't get them, they aren't.

We create this Art and we want it to go well and we want it to reach Strangers as well as Friends and hope we won't have Enemies. And we rest the perception of our worth on the effect of one single night, not realizing that it's more than tonight, it's every time we make that Art. 

- - -

Read JS's "Alabama vs. Chengdu."

w i g · l e a F               09-09-12                                [home]